Larry Burden’s This Day In The RCMP

Arnold Friberg's RCMP painting

The achievements and contributions of the Force have been built upon the individual contributions of many past Veterans. These contributions have largely been forgotten.

Veteran Sgt. Larry Burden ( #35982), who served in “E” Division for 20 years, has spent over ten years researching and summarizing these achievements by specific date.  Nearly every day, Larry sends out an email message with a selection from his work in progress manuscript “This Day In The RCMP” to individuals interested in these historical notes.

In an effort to share his research to a large group, Larry has agreed to permit us to develop a webpage on our website.  Each webpage will post Larry’s historical notations over the past week.

If you wish to contact Larry Burden or provide additional information about his research, please email him at


March 2nd

1891– Honour Roll Number 18.#913 Cst. James Herron, age 29, died during a blizzard near St. Mary’s River, while on patrol. The native of Ireland had lost his way due to snow blindness and is believed to have shot himself after freezing his nose, wrists and fingers. He was buried in the Union Cemetery at MacLeod Alberta.

1989– #39329 Constable B.W. Smith of Surrey, BC, earned a Commanding Officers Commendation for bravery as a result of arresting an armed robbery suspect who was thought to have been armed with a handgun and a bomb.

March 1st

1917– The Alberta Government decides to replace the RNWMP as their provincial police and create the Alberta Provincial Police Force, which lasts until 1928 when it is dissolved due to the economic effects of the Great Depression and provincial policing is resumed by the RCMP.

1918– For his role in theinvestigation and arrest of a suspect in a theft of mail case in Edmonton Alberta, #5379 Constable Arthur Moss was awarded $25 for meritorious service from the Fine Fund. 

1923– Members of Parliament defeat a vote to disband the RCMP.1966 – As a result of solving one of Canada’s highest profile cases three men receive the RCMP’s highest honour, the Commissioners Commendation. A daring robbery at the Winnipeg airport netted five criminals several gold bars. #14863 Robert Morley, #17296 Thomas Gardiner and #17625 Allen Richards foiled their plans of getting rich when they arrested all five suspects and recovered the gold. 1977–Too often police officers find themselves alone in dangerous situations having fight for their lives. 

This was the case for Constable #28948 J.M. Crawford when fate brought him to a confrontation with armed and violent mentally deranged man at Oxford Nova Scotia. Fortunately for the lone constable, Mr. Glen Ronald Dykens came to his assistance and they were able to disarm and subdue the suspect. In recognition of his courage and support of a policeman in need of assistance Mr. Dykens was awarded the Commanding Officers Commendation and Constable Crawford received a formal Letter of Appreciation.

February 28th

1916– As a result of their “very good service” in the investigation of a cattle rustling case near Calgary Alberta Staff Sergeants #3120 Joseph Dubuque and #4436 John Goodrich were awarded $25.00 from the Fine Fund. In those days, a $25 bonus was considered a considerable sum.

1979– Meritorious Certificates from The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem were awarded to #19586 Staff Sergeant Tom K. Vickers and #23388 Corporal Gordon A. Smith for rendering of first aid to #25363 Corporal Larry R. Bennett who was seriously injured in police car accident at Grand Harbour, New Brunswick. 

2004– Honour Roll Number 203.
#27332 Dog Handler Cpl. James Wilbert Gregson Galloway, age 53 was shot and killed, while assisting the Edmonton Emergency Response Team, in Spruce Grove, Alberta.

Around noon the Spruce Gtrove Detachment received a complaint of a car being riddled with bullets from a nearby house. When the police arrived at the scene a woman ran out of the house and told the officers that her husband was armed with a rifle. The Edmonton Emergency Response Team was called and soon the house was surrounded. One of ERT members who arrived at the scene was Cpl. Jim Galloway. The members settled in for what was expected to be a lengthy period of negotiations when suddenly suspect, Martin Ostopovich, suddenly rushed out of the house, and fired a shot. The ERT members immediately returned fire and killed the gunman. 

February 27th

1977– The RCMP arrest and charge Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones rock group with possession of heroin with intent to traffic and possession of cocaine. 22 grams of heroin, 5 grams of cocaine and narcotics paraphernalia were seized. Richards is released on $25,000 bail and is convicted in court, but instead of going to jail he is released on condition the Stones play two benefit concerts for the blind.

1979– Constable Kolstad responded to a report of a two-year-old boy who was choking on the Nut Lake Indian Reserve. 

Kolstad had to revive the child three times using CPR. He was awarded the Meritorious Certificate from The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

1979– Constables #31204 W.D. Murphy and #33955 R.C. Raike earned Commanding Officers Commendations for bravery after they responded to a disturbance and were met by man with shotgun. Using tact and patience they succeeded in convincing him to surrender. 

2005 – #43132 Corporal Brent Sawatzky won a Silver Medal in the 34th Annual Goodwill Karate-Do Championships, in Costa Mesa, California.

February 26th

1926– Inspector #5117 Frederick Mead left Norway House, Manitoba by dog team and traveled 1000 miles to Trout Lake, in northern Ontario to investigate a complaint about two insane natives. 

1940 – #12921 Constable Howard Ade took the first police dog to ‘L’ Division (Prince Edward Island) as the first dog master of that division.1940– #10960 Constable Ed Williams was among those in the first reinforcement draft to Provost Corps WWII. 

1942– The Federal Government starts evacuating 21,000 Japanese Canadians from coastal regions of British Columbia to interior work camps; under War Measures Act.

February 25th

1940– Monogram Pictures releases another “Sgt. Renfrew” movie called Murder in the Yukon.

1963– Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker was made a Freeman for the City of London England. A squad of four members which included; #16736 Sgt. Ralph Cave and Constables #21188/O.1118 John D. Moodie, #21310 J.E. Dunn, and #21515 K.B. Kardish were selected to escort the Prime Minister and Mrs. Diefenbaker’s horse drawn carriage through the streets of London to the official ceremony at Guildhall.

1960 -Commissioners Commendation to #20232 Constable George Rugenius who responded to call to assist QPF near St Bernard, Quebec. Upon his arrival, a man on a porch armed with .22 rifle & ice pick taped to it as a bayonet fired shots at the police. Rugenius climbed stairs and as the man lunged with the rifle, he grabbed the rifle and as he was turning it aside, the suspect fired a shot.  The suspect was then subdued and arrested.

1966-Twin brothers #24612 Denis Malcolm and #24613 Donald Brian Schlecker are sworn in as regular members of the RCMP at Stoney Plain Alberta. They are not the first brothers to be sworn in, but are believed to be the first twins to join the Mounties on the same day.

February 24th

1899– As a bugler at Depot, #3101 Constable James Burke was charged by Superintendent Howe in the Orderly Room for sounding reveille four minutes late. For his heinous crime he was fined one dollar.

1976– TheFederal government tables’ new criminal legislation, including abolition of hanging, increased minimum sentences for murder, stricter gun control and greater wire-tapping power for police.

1983 -While off duty doing paper work at the Morinville, Alberta Detachment, #37999 Constable Allen Wayne MacDonald responded to a call for assistance at the scene of an overturned propane truck on Highway 28. When he arrived on the scene, he was faced with a burning truck that was leaking propane and several people were milling about. Recognizing that the truck was going to explode, he immediately ordered the people to get away from the truck. When a bus load of people arrived Cst. MacDonald placed himself in considerable danger and directed people away from the scene. When the truck exploded, he was blown into the ditch and received several scrapes and bruises. For his courage and above average dedication in saving several lives Constable MacDonald was awarded the Commanding Officers Commendation.

1985– Commendation to #30661 Brian Garvie, #34321 Gordon Mitchell, #34669 Brian Gabriel and #36947 Walter Dona for saving two men from Fraser River near Hatzic, B.C. (Looking for more detail)